By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG
The New York Giants after a well-needed bye week will start the 2nd half of the season by visiting the reigning Super Bowl Champions; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who were upset by the Washington Football Team 29-19. The Bucs currently own a 6-3 record and lead the NFC South; while the Giants are the opposite at 3-6 and look to stay out of the NFC East cellar.
The Giants could have a full roster as the 2nd half begins with many of their key offensive weapons cleared to play. Full squad or not, the Giants will have their hands full against Brady and the Bucs; especially after their loss to Washington. Here are my top 5 ways the Giants could walk away with a victory.
- Time of Possession: The Giants must find a way to keep the ball in their offensive hands and not allow Brady and the Bucs to be on the field more than them; it’s that simple.
- Red Zone Efficiency: The Giants need to find a cure of their red zone illness that has plagued them for the majority of the games this season. Finding a way to match Tom Brady and the Bucs in the red zone will be a tall task and perhaps the deciding factor in this game’s out come.
- 3rd down conversions: Keeping the ball out away from the Buccaneers offense leads me my next category and that’s 3rd down conversion. The Giants need to sustain as many drives as they can and by converting 3rd downs is a good start. If they struggle in this category, it could cause a domino effect in some of the other categories mentioned.
- Battle of the Turnovers: Let’s face it Giant fans, the Giants are not as talented as the Buccaneers and one of the best ways to offset this is by winning the battle of the turnovers. Tom Brady was victimized twice against Washington and the Giants need to look to create turnovers anyway they can to help their cause. This could result in the Giants secondary taking chances in hopes of an interception that might result in a big play for the Bucs (see next topic), but it might be the only way to create turnovers.
- Big Play Opportunities: The Giants should see most of the walking wounded offensive players back for this game; coming off their bye week, so these players need to contribute in this category in a big way. The Bucs certainly have the offensive weapons to match and/or exceed the Giants big play capabilities; especially when Tom Brady is throwing the rock.
The Giants will be facing an angry Buccaneers team Monday night, so they better be ready to play. QB Tom Brady has always had a grudge against the Giants with those two Super Bowl losses, so expect Brady to put forth a solid effort. Currently; the spread has the Buccaneers favored by 10.5 points and it could go a little higher before the opening kickoff. Look for the Giants to once again give a solid effort and possibly cover the spread, but in the end, the Bucs have too much talent on both sides of the ball and should secure their 7th win of the season.
Final Score: Buccaneers-27/Giants-17